Magazine article American Forests

Logger Turns Tree Saver

Magazine article American Forests

Logger Turns Tree Saver

Article excerpt

You could say that big trees changed Matt Largess' life.

Largess, a veteran of logging old-growth trees in Oregon, did an about-face in 1998 when he was asked to selectively log beech trees on a former Vanderbilt estate in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, according to the Boston Globe. Largess told the Globe when he realized the trees were part of a old-growth forest, he just couldn't cut them down. Instead, he contacted scientists who determined the trees were more than 300 years old. The public got behind the project and enough money was raised--$1.5 million--to buy the land from the developers, who the Globe said was "surprised and pleased by the public's willingness to buy the land."

Largess now runs Largess Forestry Inc., which cares for old-specimen trees on estates in Newport, RI.

"I used to be a tree clearer until I found this forest, and then I changed completely," he told the Globe. "It's like being an alcoholic and going sober. Or being an atheist and becoming religious. …

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